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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Real apartheid

The 'international community' - from Dhimmi Carter to the 'International Court of Justice' to the United Nations is constantly accusing Israel of practicing 'apartheid' against the 'Palestinians.' As any South African who lived through apartheid can likely tell you, what's going on in Israel isn't it.

Steve of It's Almost Supernatural is a South African blogger, and he actually took the picture on the left at a beach in Durban. In this post, he explains what apartheid really meant and why it's not what's going on in Israel.

Hat Tip: Soccer Dad
Apartheid was a legal framework by which whites (a minority) sought to ensure their continued political and economic domination of South Africa. It was based purely on race – South Africans were divided into 2 groups – whites and non-whites (blacks, Indians and colours).

There were two components to Apartheid – grand apartheid with its goal of political separation, and petty apartheid which sought to segregate whites from non whites. Both components were equally important and intertwined for one could not succeed without the other.

Grand apartheid was to be achieved by creating separate political realities for whites and non whites. This was done by revoking the citizenship from non-white South Africans reducing the ‘legal’ population of South Africa so that the whites would be the demographic majority. Homelands called Bantustans were created and these were eventually to become separate independent states. Blacks were to either be physically moved into these homelands, or nationally tied to them (i.e. they would become a citizen of the homeland that they might have never set foot in; and not a citizen of South Africa). Naturally, even blacks that were not yet assigned a Bantustan, were denied suffrage (i.e. they were denied the right to vote).

Legislation was passed to legally separate blacks from whites in all aspects of daily life. The separate public amenities act ruled that blacks and whites would receive separate public services. Blacks and whites were to have separate education, medical care, transport and beaches. The legislation even pervaded to the use of parks – blacks could not sit on the same benches as whites and they could not even use the same water fountains used by whites.

Laws were also passed prohibiting blacks and whites from having sexual relations. This was policed to the extent that a white could be incarcerated for allowing a black of the opposite sex to sit on the front seat in their car.

Apartheid ensured the domination by a white minority over a black majority in every apsect of their daily lives. Blacks could not participate in the political process, they were forced to study in languages selected by the government and their education was geared towards making them useful labourers for their white ‘bosses’.

It is thus easy to see that Israel is not an apartheid state. All citizens of Israel (whether Muslim or Jewish, Arab or European) have equality before the law. There is nothing close to resembling the separate provision of amenities – Muslims and Jews use the same hospitals, Muslims and Jews use the same public transport, Muslims and Jews all vote in Israeli elections, Muslims and Jews can run for election etc etc. Muslims in Israel can choose to study in the language of their preference and Arabic is even one of the national languages of Israel. In apartheid South Africa, although blacks made up over 80% of the population, not a single African language was recognised by the state.
There's much more to Steve's post. Read the whole thing.


At 7:41 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

C-Span carried a talk by a Palestinian California Professor (UCLA?)whose father had been an activist in the Middle East some years back. The Professor was continuing his father's efforts through "education" (to reach more Americans).
He pointed out that Palestinians should stop arguing against the Israeli propaganda and instead tell the "truth" about Israel. He opposed the two state solution, said it was what Israel wanted (ethnic purity), that Israel's laws were based on their religion and would not allow Palestinians to participate in a one state solution (voting, education, etc.)and the American people would not look kindly on any country that perpetrated such a division in class or lacked division of Church and State. He urged all Arabs to espouse only the one state solution including equality in all areas of government that allowed Palestinians to participate and THEN for the Palestinians to invite all past and present Palestinians from Jordan and anywhere else to return to the State and vote (outweighing any Israeli vote). His message was a way to "win" that the American people would support.

In my opinion, what he left out was the history from 1948 until now from the time Israel appealed to all Arabs to stay and support the new State and not join the whole Arab world in a war to destroy Israel. He wanted Americans to see Israel today and all its' supposed (?)racism as an appartheid state which exists today not as history has evolved it and not from a struggle to survive but as wholly sprung from Israel's innate lack of tolerance and desire to be rid of all Arabs. If I lived in Israel or was Jewish, I might also want to protect myself from the constant threat of those that hated me and would personally do everything I could to protect myself, my family and my country......including any and all laws that helped me do that. BUT

Unfortunately, the American people, in general, do not know the history of Israel or the history between 1948 and now since the Palestinians refused partition. If this professor gets his way, Israel will become a Palestinian state by reason of population growth and then we will see the Israelis destroyed from within (Americans don't project consequences sometimes or assume if it did happen, it was meant to happen.......progress?)

I am afraid for Israel.


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